‘Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christand through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.For to Godwe are the fragrance (the sweet smell) of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life – and who is sufficient for these things?’ 2 Corinthians 2:14-16
As we go about our daily business, walking in the works God has prepared for us, The Holy Spirit is with us and, if we seek and ask, He will be answering our prayers. Read the scripture again He is alwaysleading us in triumph. This should be our experience and if we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us the aroma of Christ is being diffused, released around us. We may not be aware, but others pick up the scent for life or for death.
“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesian 5:2 or Philip 4:18
As we approach the time spoken of by Jesus in answer to the the disciples question: “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Matthew 24:3, we know from His response that in the “last days” the world by and large has turned away from God and therefore we are the aroma of death leading to death to them.
Is it any wonder then that Jesus tells us that Christians living at that time will experience intense persecution.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.” Matthew 24:9-12
Make sure you are one of the faithful: “But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:13
What an entire generation of Christians do not understand is that refusing to align your language, choices, and actions with scripture is a blatant denial of Christ Jesus. Attacks on the doctrine of scripture are attacks on the Kingdom of God. Likewise, if we deny His word, we also deny Him. We cannot claim Jesus as our own and also continue to endorse the world’s philosophies. As the years continue to pile up in our postmodern society, so do the excuses Christians make about why they are willing to deny Jesus and His doctrine.
We would all do well to meditate on Jesus’ warning in Luke 9:62. He says, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Here, Jesus is reminding us all not to “look back” at the worldly life we left behind. In doing so, we err like Lot’s wife did in Sodom – not trusting God’s provision. When we take our eyes off the prize and look back at the world we left behind, we declare ourselves unfit for the kingdom of God.
Christians, a day is coming when you will be forced to make this very decision: plow forward or look back.
“But false prophets arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.” 2 Peter 2:1
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased,the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:9-13
God’s word warns us of many last days false prophets and teachers and apostasy in the church, all evident now and proof we are living in the last days. Prepare your heart now, you will be tempted to deny your Lord and Saviour. You need to consider the cost of following Christ but also the cost if you turn your back on Him. Your eternal destiny is at stake. We need to be prepared to lay down our lives for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Remember, that it is “He who endures to the end that shall be saved” Matthew 24:13
Let us meditate on the apostle’s words. “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.” Philippians 3:8-10
While our current persecution might be light, in comparison to what other brothers and sisters are experiencing in the world, it is still persecution. The doctrine and truth of God’s Word is being put to shame in our culture. It is time for you to decide if you will heed the call. Will you follow Christ or is the cost too much for you to bear? Far too long has the church been idle, ignoring this question. Will you take the yoke and plow the field for the Kingdom of God? Yes, there will be a cost for following Christ. But in such work, you will find joys and wonders of which you never dreamed. Pray that when you are forced to decide between plowing forward or looking back, you will choose the yoke of Christ. Pray that you will be a faithful slave of Christ. It is time for Christians to start owning that title.
Much of this post is taken from the article entitled Doubling-Down on Christian Persecution: The Cost of Following Jesus JANUARY 19, 2021 by Jack Lee http://www.patheos .com
Social justice activist Shaun King unleashed a barrage of comments on social media claiming that statues of Jesus Christ are “a form of white supremacy” and should be torn down. King is the co-founder of Real Justice PAC and supports the Black Lives Matter movement by sharing his views on injustice through social media. His remarks come in the wake of a surge of protests and activism that have been taking place over racial injustice and equality. Across a number of countries protesters have vandalized and torn down statues that represent history. In a series of tweets, King declared that “public statues of the white European they claim is Jesus should also come down. They are a form of white supremacy. Always have been.”
He continued, “All murals and stained glass windows of white Jesus, and his European mother, and their white friends should also come down. They are a gross form of white supremacy. Created as tools of oppression. Racist propaganda. They should all come down.” The activist alleged that the “white Jesus is a lie” and “a tool of white supremacy created and advanced to help white people use the faith as a tool of oppression.”
Many of my previous posts have quoted Scriptures that clearly demonstrate the Bible prophesied this coming escalating persecution of Christians. Bible prophecies also address the apostasy, the falling away of churches that don’t uphold the inerrancy of God’s Word. This we also see happening as churches approve gay marriage and homosexuality. The good news is that these events signal the soon return of Jesus to rule and reign on this earth. Man’s time to rule on this earth, as well as Satan’s time of dominion, is coming to an end. Although, the Bible reveals that Satan gets an another opportunity to deceive mankind at the end of Jesus Millennial reign.
“And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. And they marched up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”Revelation 20:7-10
Jesus tells us that Christians will experience great tribulation during the last seven years prior to His return, but they will not experience the wrath of God that is poured out on unbelievers. The wrath of God follows the opening of the seven seals around the Scroll containing the trumpet and bowl judgements.
“When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” Revelation 6:12-17
The next event John sees in Revelation 7 is the saints in heaven. The Rapture of the saints has occurred at the seventh seal. The censer that held the prayers of the saints is offered up one last time and then the censer is filled with fire from the altar and thrown to earth to initiate the the first trumpet judgement.
“And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.Revelation 8:3-5
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” Revelation 7:9-12
Right now there is a major court case dealing with religious liberty and freedom of speech in Toronto, Canada. On June 4, 2019, David Lynn of Christ’s Forgiveness Ministries was arrested for preaching the gospel publicly in Toronto, Canada.
Jesus tells us that in the last days persecution of Christians will escalate. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.” Matthew 24:9-10
In both Canada and the United States, we are seeing a constant increase of the silencing of Christians’ rights to free speech. Every day, it is becoming clearer that we are living in a post-Christian, Western culture.
This court case is a serious case to be aware of. Many Christians in Western countries do not believe that there will come a time when the freedoms that we presently have and can exercise will be taken away from us right before our eyes. We already have seen lots of instances of the government coming against bakers, photographers and others who were unwilling to participate in gay weddings with extremely high fines and even greater threats of further punishments if there was no compliance. Likewise, we have seen the media demonize Christians for holding to fundamental biblical views.
Interview with Pastor David Lynn
Do people have a right to free speech in Canada?
Were you in violation of any laws that day?
No. The laws allow us to preach on the streets.
Do you believe that there is an anti-Christian bias in Toronto?
Yes. Many Christians are being discriminated against for simply being Christian and exercising their Christian faith.
Are there more restraints placed on Christians in Canada than in the past couple of years?
Yes. One example is that Justin Trudeau, our prime minister, limited youth summer program funds only to charities that affirm abortion rights. Because of this, it excluded Bible-believing Christians who run summer programs from receiving funding. There is not a change of “legal rights” or rights according to the law. But there is a widespread crackdown on Christians, using a bogus application of the law to try to silence us. There are hate speech laws and laws that pertain to disturbing the peace. Even if we are not being hateful or doing something to disturb the peace, these laws get applied to us, wrongfully. What happens is that authorities use questionable grey area laws like, “Disturbing the peace” or “Mischief” in an attempt to silence us as Christians. So “by the books” we have a right to free speech, but in practicality, we are being silenced. When other groups do the same things we do, or things of a much more radical nature, they are praised by government officials and the media and no one gets arrested. When they actually have hate-speech in their messages or disturb the peace, everyone turns a blind eye.
Alan Jones attacks Israel Folau for saying fires, drought are God’s punishment.
One of Israel Folau’s closest allies, Alan Jones, has attacked the former rugby union star’s latest controversial sermon in which he suggested bush fires ravaging NSW and Queensland and the drought are God’s punishment for the legalisation of same-sex marriage and abortion.
The devout Christian, who had his $4m Rugby Australia contract terminated over homophobic social media posts, said the timing of the bush fires was not a “coincidence” while delivering a sermon at his church in Sydney’s northwest on Sunday. Folau told fellow worshippers at the Kenthurst church the drought and bushfires were God’s way of telling Australia “You need to repent” and that they were only a taste of what God’s punishment could be. How right Folau is about God using catastrophes for His purposes.
“They have changed the law and changed the ordinance of these things,” he said. “Look how rapid these bush fires, these droughts, all these things have come in a short period of time. You think it is a coincidence or not? They have changed that law and legalised same-sex marriage and now those things are OK in society, going against the laws of what God says. Abortion — it is OK now to murder and kill infants, unborn children, and they think that to be OK.”
Jones was unimpressed, telling listeners to his 2GB program on Monday morning that Folau needs to “button up.” “Israel is a lovely human being, I know him well. (But) Israel, button up Jones said. These comments don’t help.”
Labor leader Anthony Albanese attacked Folau’s comments, describing them as “pretty reprehensible.”
“I think most people when they think of God or spirituality, they think of something positive and they think of a loving god,” Mr Albanese told Sky News on Monday. “They don’t think religion or faith in those terms and his comments are in line with some of his other comments, which are pretty reprehensible frankly.”
Mr Albanese said that in the context of six people losing their lives and hundreds of homes being destroyed in the blaze, Folau’s input didn’t bring anything “positive or constructive” to the discussion.
Nationals backbencher Barnaby Joyce also chastised. Mr Joyce told Seven News on Monday it was pointless to engage with Folau. “He throws rocks at us so he feels good, we throw rocks back at him so we feel good … but not one of those actions is making a sandwich for a person fighting the fires,” he said.
Liberal MP Dave Sharma described Folau’s comments as “off the grid”, telling Sky News he disagreed with the sacked rugby star “strongly” and he wouldn’t seek to give him any more publicity. “I think it’s important we focus really on the bushfires themselves and how we deal with them, how we combat them and how we help communities recover,” Mr Sharma told Sky News.
Folau’s latest sermon come as Australia is in the grips of an unprecedented bush fire crisis affecting three states, with four people killed in recent weeks.
“What you see out there in the world — it’s only a little taste of what God’s judgement is like,” Folau said.
“God is speaking to us. Speaking to you, to repent and to turn away from this.
“We look back to what God (has) done to Sodom and Gomorrah — it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed that city because of the sin that they were living in.”
The rugby star’s Wallabies contract was torn up by Rugby Australia in May after he shared a social media post saying that homosexuals were going to hell unless they repented.
In his sermon at the time, he said same-sex marriage and abortion were “evil in the eyes of God” but were deemed by society as “good”. “This generation is full of arrogance and full of pride,” he said. “They want to turn their back on God. They don’t want to know one bit of who God is because they’re so immersed in their sinful, wicked, evil ways.”
“I knew it was going to be offensive to a lot of people … but ultimately it’s a message of love,” Folau said.
In another sermon in June, he took aim at transgender children, saying the government was letting children, “basically 16 years old or younger”, go through treatment despite “not even knowing what they are doing”.
Folau is speaking the truth about God. The world and even some who claim to be Christian see it as offensive.
In the last days, we are told, the people of the world, controlled by Satan and his demons, will do their utmost to persecute those who hold to the truth of God’s Word.